We just found out that we are at 50% of our projected monthly needs. Thanks be to God! We have about 4 weeks (before we need to leave to take part in critical training) to raise an additional $2,000 per month in pledges. Please pray with us that God would move in the hearts of those He has already appointed to partner with us. We serve a mighty God who is certainly able to meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory.
Meredith is 15. Ethan (pictured with our pup, Campy) is 7. Evan is 12.
Here are some recent pictures of our children, Meredith, Evan and Ethan. They are such a vital part of our ministry and will be instrumental in our ability to get to know students on a personal level. Please be in prayer for them during this very hectic season of our lives. Mom and Dad have less time to spend with them as the time draws near for us to leave. They are also really beginning to feel the pain of our eventual goodbyes. Mark and I would really love for you to cover them in prayer and ask that God Almighty bind the enemy from their hearts and minds. Thank your for your faithfulness to lift us up to Him.
Last week Mark and I traveled to Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada for training with our sending organization (emphasize the long "i" when you say it) and really enjoyed the process (emphasize the long "o" sound when you say it). We had such a great week meeting and bonding with 24 other new BFA staffers and one gal that will be going to Vienna Christian School. We learned a lot, ate a lot and stayed up late every night, which was easy to do since the sun didn't set until about 10:30 pm. During this week, God proved himself mighty once again by giving us such great people to share this experience with. We are so excited about the people we will be ministering with in Kandern. It is truly amazing who God brings together to serve Him. He loves us so much that He wants us to have sweet friends to share this journey with. How much I appreciate that about our God. Many of you know that leaving our community of faith at St. B's is going to be one of the hardest parts of this journey. As we traveled to Winnipeg, I was hopeful and prayerful that God would provide another community of believers who are like minded to walk this road of life with. He has done that. The group was so varied from where we live and where we attend church to our ages and interests. There were recent college grads, newly married couples, two middle aged couples (as we were tagged....ouch!) and one retired couple. What a blessing it will be to walk in faith with one another. We all have such a wide range of experiences to share with one another. I can't wait to learn from them all.
Here are some pictures of that week.
Oh, Canada! It was a lovely place and the weather was just amazing. Our new BFA friends plus one gal, Rachel who will be serving at Vienna Christian School in Austria. A team building exercise.
Our new Anglican friends, Jim and Lynn are pictured above! Anglicans..who would've thought it? My sweet, sweet prayer partner, Stephanie. She has a beautiful heart...love her! Jim once again pictured with Dan and Judy Kastelein. Dan and Judy are retirees who are leaving 14 grandchildren here in the States to go and serve at BFA. What an example they are to Mark and me. I am prayerful for a great relationship with them. I am sure there is much they can teach us.
We had a great week, but are very thankful to be safely home with our kids again.
A couple of weekends ago, our family had the pleasure of visiting my hometown of Albany, Georgia and reconnecting with dear friends. We stopped along the way and visited with my friend Rod Daniel and his sweet family. My family and Rod's family were close friends during our childhood and teen years, so we go way back and have lots of fun memories. They hosted us at their place on the lake and we had such a great time reminiscing about old times and sharing our passions about ministry. They recently traveled to Nicaragua as a family where they served as short term missionaries. I am so proud of them and their desire to serve and what great work they are doing for the Kingdom. The above pictures are from our time with them.
We then traveled on to Albany and were privileged to share our ministry with the church in which I was raised. My other sweet friends, Scooter and Lee Ann Griffin were there with their precious children. It was so great seeing them and meeting their kids. (You guys are doing an amazing job raising them!) We were so well received by folks in the church and Mark and I felt very humbled by how people were touched by our ministry and gave so generously. Below are letters we received in the mail from two of Scooter and Lee Ann's boys, Luke and Levi. Priceless! (If you click on the letter, you can read it better.)
We packed a lot into a very short weekend, because we then traveled on to Colquitt, Georgia where Mark's aunt, uncle and 92 year-old grandmother live. It was great visiting with them and probably the highlight of the trip was sitting with Grandma and her 98 year-old brother, Ralph and watching them fuss and fight like brothers and sisters do! It was such a special weekend and one for which we are very thankful.